Four decades of music, community pride

Sept. 11, 2013 at 4:11 a.m.
Updated Sept. 12, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.

Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul." - Plato

We hope our community recognizes the important role the arts play in quality of life and education of our community. Numerous studies have linked the impact of arts to learning, showing it broadly enhances all aspects of the student experience, from reading and math, to critical thinking and social skills. Creativity is becoming an increasingly critical part of our economy.

As Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft said, "The arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery and achievement in our country."

Apple founder Steve Jobs was a strong advocate for combining art and science, saying "it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing."

Forty years ago, a seed was planted in our community by Harry Robert Lyall, then music director of University of Houston-Victoria. Lyall began recruiting area musicians for what was to become the Victoria Symphony we know today. What started as a UHV sponsored program has grown into an organization with broad local support from the community.

From humble beginnings, the Victoria Symphony has grown into an arts organization that any community would be proud to have. It is especially remarkable given the relative size of our community. Any manager can attest the challenge of recruiting talent to the Victoria-area, but Darryl One, only the third conductor of the Victoria Symphony, shows us what is possible with every performance. One has recruited an outstanding team of musicians that come to Victoria for every performance. Landing One himself was a recruiting coup, with a resume that includes orchestral leadership in Modesto, Calif.; Atlanta; Rochester, N.Y.; and Charlotte, N.C.

We are fortunate to have such a fine organization and a community that sustains it. The Victoria Symphony offers a variety of programs, including a teaching series in collaboration with VISD; a free, family-oriented outdoor concert in downtown Victoria; an October Spooktacular concert geared toward children; as well as bringing in world-renown guest artists throughout the years.

Saturday, the Victoria Symphony will open its 40th season with the first Master Series, featuring Cirque de la Symphonie with daredevil artists and fiery symphonic music. We encourage you to bring the family to this unique and creative performance. And if you can't make that, in two weeks the Symphony is bringing Aaron Neville to town, one of several special events they hold as part of fundraising efforts.

We applaud the magnificent support of this community, especially the Victoria Symphony League, in their substantial giving and countless hours of hard work to create, preserve and perpetuate the rich cultural legacy that Lyall began.

We congratulate the Victoria Symphony on a wonderful past four decades and wish them many more to come.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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